The Korea Herald


Samsung expected to record all-time high operating profit in 2012: analysts

By Korea Herald

Published : Dec. 22, 2011 - 18:47

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(Yonhap News) (Yonhap News)
Median consensus of analysts forecast 2012 operating profit at near 20 trillion won

Samsung Electronics, the world’s top smartphone maker, is expected to record an all-time high operating profit figure next year, amounting to nearly 20 trillion won ($17.27 billion), analysts said Thursday.

The firm’s operating profit in 2012 was forecast to reach 19.98 trillion won, about 28 percent higher than Samsung’s projected operating profit figure of 15.62 trillion won this year, said a median consensus of 25 securities firms polled by a Seoul-based financial information provider FnGuide.

The flagship arm of the country’s top conglomerate Samsung Group reached its record-breaking annual operating profit of 17.29 trillion won last year buoyed by marked growth in semiconductor sales. It also recorded sales of more than 150 trillion won for the first time in 2010.

Of the 25 investment and securities firms, Kiwoom Securities provided the highest estimate of 23.11 trillion won in operating profit for Samsung Electronics. It was followed by Hana Daetoo Securities, KB Investment and Securities and Korea Investment and Securities with 21.95 trillion won, 21.85 trillion won and 21.21 trillion won, respectively.

“After cementing its dominance in memory chips, Samsung Electronics is also quickly rising in the non-memory chip area and it has overwhelmed Apple in smartphones,” Kim Sung-in, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co., said in a recent report.

Kim also said that Samsung now has a better grip of the key subparts market, enabling it to add to its value.

Dongbu Securities, which offered an estimate of 20.5 trillion won for Samsung Electronics’ 2012 operating profit, stated that the company has met that goal of being equipped with subparts and products that range from low-cost to premium with the growing wireless device market.

But some securities firms predicted that the operating profit for next year will be a lower figure compared to 2010.

“The forecast gap stems from varying views on the semiconductor market,” said a recent report published by Daishin Securities, which provided 16.82 trillion won for 2012. “We expect global demand for semiconductors to continue to decline up until the first quarter of next year.”

It elaborated that the global market is facing a shortage of hard disk drives due to the flooding in Thailand in August. Noting that this will have an impact on the manufacturing of personal computers, the demand for dynamic random access memory will inevitably decline, it said.

In the meantime, SK Securities and Eugene Investment and Securities also gave comparatively low operating profit forecasts, numbering to 16.88 trillion won and 17.78 trillion won, respectively, for the world’s top flat-screen TV maker.

By Cho Ji-hyun (